The Osseo-Fairchild baseball team got off to an 0-4 start this season but turned things around winning 8 of their next 9 games. On the eve of the state baseball tournament, the Thunder are on the hunt for a Division 3 title. In this week's Gordy's Athlete of the Week, meet senior Sam Waters who's leading the charge.
"I said there was no one that I trusted more on the mound at the end of that game then him," says baseball coach Matt Korger. "Just because he's played a lot, he knows baseball, his dad is a coach. I just felt comfortable with him on the mound at the end so it was nice when he got the last out."
Osseo Fairchild baseball coach Matt Korger had full confidence in senior Sam Waters to lead the Thunder to the sectional final win last week against Chequamegon. After all, Waters is viewed as the go to guy by the entire team.
"We know what we're gonna get. He's gonna give us a productive at bat and he's going to battle when he's pitching too," says sophomore Luke Eide.
"We line up pretty well defensively and we just trust him, he's a senior. He's been in a lot of big games," adds senior Karl Petersen.
His four year varsity resume on the diamond, coupled with his role as quarterback in football and a starter on the basketball court, Waters is a natural vocal leader. His play also does some talking, as the lead-off batter, Waters hasn't made an out since regional play.
"Well being a senior it's just kind of what's expected and just lead by example, I guess, is what I like to do," says Waters.
"It always helps when the best player is the hardest worker on the team and that's what Sam does, he's the hardest worker," adds Korger.
The last time the Osseo-Fairchild program went to the state tournament was in 2006. Two of those players coached this years team through grade school so it's only fitting that the Thunder earned a shot at the state title.
"Any time anybody can get down to state it's a pretty big deal and we're a pretty tight community so lots of support, so it's fun," says Waters.
The three sport athlete says coming from behind in six games this season has taught him a valuable lesson..
"Never give up and don't back down from anybody," says Waters, "We've been down in games a lot this year and found ways to come back and we're pretty resilient, so just keep that in mind every time we step on the field."